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BR Engineering, Dallara Join Forces for LMP1 Project with SMP

SMP Racing to run BR Engineering/Dallara LMP1 car in 2018…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

BR Engineering and Dallara have joined forces for a new LMP1 project, which will be run by SMP Racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2018.

Motorsport.com reports that the Russian constructor, owned by Boris Rotenberg, has inked a deal with Dallara CEO Andrea Pontremoli for joint development of the BR1 prototype next year, which will be run in the LMP1 Privateer class.

The deal keeps the prototype subclass alive following Rebellion Racing’s withdrawal at the end of this year, with only ByKolles Racing set to be represented on the grid next year.

Rotenberg’s SMP team, meanwhile, will make the step up to the top prototype class, after two seasons of LMP2 competition with BR Engineering’s BR01 prototype.

“We raised a challenge to ourselves,” Rotenberg said. “It was possible to buy a chassis of one of the four manufacturers of LMP2 for a season, also it was possible to leave for good, but we have always chosen our own path.

“Not necessarily, and not always the easiest, but [this way] is for sure the most interesting and promising. The aim of the project was and remains the development of Russian motorsport, including the technology sector.”

SMP Racing, which has long been linked with AF Corse, will switch operations to longtime Dallara partner ART Grand Prix, which will also be involved in the development of the car.

No word has been given on SMP’s plans for next year, although it’s believed a GTE-Am program could be in the works for the WEC.

Dallara is one of four approved constructors for the new-look LMP2 class, which launches next year.

Click Here to read more on this story on Motorsport.com.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Jeff

    November 16, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Sigh, can’t this class just die? The ACO always has to keep a class alive for 1-2 cars. It’s an embarrassment.

    • GR88

      November 16, 2016 at 6:28 pm

      There will always be a prototype class a step above LMP2, with quicker cars, freedom to develop all aspects of the chassis/engine, and no driver restrictions. Making a distinction between LMP1-H and LMP1-L doesn’t make a great deal of sense. In theory they are competing together, and that is clearly the aim of Dallars/SMP.

      Whether someone builds an all new car, develops an LMP2, or even an adapted DPI, this is hopefully a kick-start to bring more teams onboard. For one, I could well imagine Joest, Rebellion, Signatech Alpine, Manor and others eyeing LMP1 Privateer.

  2. P

    November 16, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    So, will SMP still run the BR01 in the ELMs In 2017?

    • Jack

      November 16, 2016 at 6:30 pm

      Maybe? I think is the best answer.

    • GR88

      November 16, 2016 at 6:31 pm

      Not expected as ’17 LMP2 numbers could be in the mid teens. Probably see them in GTE once again. The BR01’s may show up in the AsLMS.

    • 7D3

      November 17, 2016 at 5:51 am

      Probably, because if I,m correct, the ELMs has adopted a Two-Class LMP2 Format, haven’t they?

      I think that’s where the BR01 are going to race, either that or the AsLMS.

      • Maya

        November 17, 2016 at 9:22 am

        DSC said a while ago they won’t run the LMP2s in anything next year.

  3. Tom

    November 16, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    Great news. Hopefully this is what LMP1 non-hybrid needs to get back on track.

  4. matt

    November 17, 2016 at 12:46 am

    Hopefully someone buys the Rebillion kit for next yr as well

    • James

      November 17, 2016 at 9:21 am

      Rebellion will be hanging on to the R-One’s for the forseeable, that program in their hands is far from dead.

  5. JamieR

    November 17, 2016 at 7:05 am

    Great for LMP1, but please just find a way to combine the LMP1’s.

  6. Gabriel Medina, The Other

    November 17, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Dallara lmp range in 2016: Zero
    Dallara lmp range in 2018: 3 (P2, DPi and P1)

    These guys are smart as fuck.

  7. Bakkster

    November 17, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Like all the other LMP1 Privateer programs (Strakka, Greaves), I’ll believe it when I see it.

    • GR88

      November 17, 2016 at 12:22 pm

      With a fleet of 8 LMP2 cars and numerous GT programs, there’s not much reason to doubt them. But I agree wait until it’s on track.

      I can very much see this as a great opportunity to attract teams to LMP1 Privateer, and for SMP/Dallara to sell chassis. I could well see Rebellion and Strakka returning to LMP1 too, with the renewed focus on finally sorting the privateer class, and potential partners like Nissan looking to supply engines.

    • kv

      June 11, 2017 at 10:16 am

      LMP 1 has always been the redheaded outcast class with the ACO SO IT DOES TAKE A RICH OR WELL FUNDED PRIVATEER TO EVEN ATTEMPT TO RUN !

  8. KW

    November 17, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Logical choice, as they have always developed their own cars, and this is not possible in LMP2 any more. I doubt that they will be in ELMS in 2017, as the old LMP2 will be far off the pace of the new ones, and there will be quite a few new LMP2 in ELMS in 2017. I expect they rather continue in Blancpain GT and give the BR01 some last outings in the Asian Le Mans Series.

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